If you look at the majesty of the Viva Egoista 845, you might say that it's too big to be a headphone amp – it's more of an integrated amp – but it's magnificently over the top. Nobody needs an Egoista 845, but nobody needs a 789 hp Ferrari, but if you have the means, why not? I think of the Egoista 845 as the 812 Superfast of headphone amplifiers, they both exist for money-hungry people who demand the very best, being practicality damn. As far as I know, the sound of the Egoista 845 with the best headphones va va-voom is fabulous. And at $ 13,800, it's a lot cheaper than the $ 335,275we've covered here at CNET.
My too brief encounter with the Egoista took place in the headphone attachment at the In-Living Stereo Audio Showroom in New York. The amp has been in production since 2014, but only now can I finally spend a good time with it. Egoista has certainly fulfilled my expectations, the amplifier's sound has a soul, much of it.
The power is 15 watts per channel, and although this type of juice is not needed on most headphones, it will come in handy with the latest generation of headphones such as theand the Headphones. These energy-hungry beasts have humiliated many high-end headphone amplifiers, but Egoista brings these headphones to life. I've found over the years that many high end owners of headphones collect headphones, and it is these people who buy very high quality amplifiers like the Egoista. It's good to be rich.
The amp lacks digital connectivity, with analog connectivity running on four pairs of stereo cinch inputs and a direct input bypassing the Egoista's preamp stages. There are separate XLR headphone jacks for the left and right channels, two stereo XLR headphone jacks and two 1/4 "headphone jacks. For technically inclined readers, the Egoista is a zero-negative feedback, a pure Class A circuit design with a 6N1P tube, a 6SN7GTB tube, two 845 tubes, and two EH5U4GB tubes.
The Egoista is handmade in Italy and has specially designed output transformers designed exclusively for headphones.
While one might expect the sound of the six-tube Egoista to be rich and warm, it never sounded that way. The sound was neutral and stunningly clear, you never had the feeling that the egoist was tinting the sound, he certainly did not.
I listened with a few different headphones, including myand while I know this headphone well, it sounded shockingly better with the Egoista. At first the midrange was more natural with voices, it sounded more human than I'd ever heard of this or any other earphones. The purity of the sound, its immediate immediacy grabbed my attention. The out-of-head imaging of the AB-1266 is always a pleasure, but it's even more with the Egoista. The Focal Utopia headphones were incredibly vibrant, and even the more affordable headphones like the $ 599 AudioQuest NightHawk were rebuilt by the Egoista.
If the price of the Viva Egoista 845 is out of bounds, the company also offers the slightly smaller Egoista 2A3 tube headphone amplifier for $ 9,750 in the US. Prizes are for the amplifiers in Vivas standard finishes, custom-made auto paint amplifiers are available for an additional $ 500 for Egoista.